Peguins, Acrylic Paint, and Handling Comments on the Blog

June 2, 2011

See the post for complete details.

110205PenguinSleeping Left: Mixed media Penguin on Smooth Bristol Strathmore Visual Journal Page (9 x 12 inches). Click on the image to view an enlargement and read below for more details.

I have a little bit of déjà vu today posting these images as I can't recall if I wrote about them on this blog. I created this page while preparing materials for my Strathmore Visual Journaling online class.

(You can go to the link, and sign up—classes will be available until August 1, 2011—and it's free. I'm no longer participating daily, but besides watching my 4 videos and downloading my handouts you can read my many blog posts on the internal blog. I write about the lessons and materials as well as about aspects of building a strong journaling practice. There are 3 free workshops each with 4 lessons; each workshop is by a different instructor.)

I know I talked about this page in my video, handouts, and on the Strathmore site. In case you missed all that here's a brief note about it.

The background has fluid acrylic paint or acrylic ink (I can't recall at this point) over the entire background—that's the yellow. When that dried I used a stencil of a checkerboard pattern to add pink rubberstamp ink squares (all down the right). When that dried I rolled out some TUBE acrylic (Daniel Smith Metallic in a pink) on a sheet of acetate (you can use a disposable paper palette, freezer paper, or an inking plate) with a brayer I'd carved (Speedball and Ranger both make brayers you can carve with linoleum block carving tools). I rolled the pattern up the page. Then I left the page until I went to the zoo.

At Como Zoo I sketched a sleeping penguin using my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Whew, I told you this page was mixed media!

I left it unpainted and went home after some more sketching. However, when I got home I just had to go in with Stabilo Tone (watersoluble wax crayons) to paint this bird, because I wanted to show my students the way in which the texture would show through the top layer of painting. (Note: Typically I paint on site, but I never take Stabilo Tones on site; something about this unpainted page just struck me as suitable for painting and providing the example I needed.)

110205SleepingPenguinDetail Right: Detail of the sleeping penguin showing the texture of the tube acrylic showing through the top layers of Stabilo Tone.

If you want to know more details about how I use Stabilo Tones you can use the search feature of this blog. Basically I apply them dry, wet them, moosh them around, and then apply additional layers dry, which I blend with my finger. Sometimes portions of those layers are also wetted, blended, and applied dry again. And so it goes. While you can no longer purchase the 60-color set of these that I am working through, you can purchase 12 colors (under the name Woody) or do the same approach with Caran d'Ache's Neocolor II line.

In the close up you can see some undissovled strokes of Stabilo Tone, some finger-blended areas, some of the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch showing through, and you can see the pattern from the acrylic paint layered on with the carved brayer. I think the last makes an interesting addition to the image, and it's fun to play around the raised surface of the acrylic paint.

Here's the thing. I don't typically use tube acrylics in my journal. They tend cause the pages to stick. They are more plastic-y in feel than fluid acrylics. They tend to repel a lot of media that I like to use to finish a page—such as most of the pens I like to use.

But in a wirebound journal where there is more play between the pages (unless you jam the book into a tightly filled shelf!) and for purposes of demonstrating something to students, I thought it worth a look. Typically I will use this technique in my paintings (outside of my journals) and do similar things on the covers of my artist books (not on my journals because I don't like the feel of such treatments in my hands as I hold the book for sketching).

Now, whether or not you were part of the Strathmore class you know how I feel about tube acrylics (or heavy body acrylics for that matter within a journal.

In Other News…
Yesterday I reset my comment moderation feature. Friends who keep blogs have all been happily using a "type in this 'word'" verification mode so that comments can be posted when you make them. They don't seem to be drowning in spam. Also I think people really enjoy seeing their comments posted immediately. And I know that readers love to see other people's comments without having to return to the blog. So that's what I am now trying here. I hope you like this method. I know it means you have to type in a "word" but the up-side is that you won't have to wait until I wander back to the computer and moderate comments, which was typically happening only once a day if that. Fingers crossed, we'll see how it goes.

  1. Reply

    It’s good to see this guy again. 🙂 I wonder if the crayons are similar to the Karat Aquarell watercolor crayons that I have? I don’t think mine are soft enough to blend with your fingers, though. I’d like to try the Caran d’Ache ones because I keep reading how creamy they are and mine aren’t.

    Those word verification things are murder on those of us with a little dyslexia. You can’t please all the people all the time, though. 🙂 I use the Askimet plugin which automatically filters spam and not one has ever gotten through. I have comment permissions set to where I have to ok your first comment but after that you are automatically approved. Works for me but I don’t know if Typepad or Blogger have those features.

    • Dusty
    • June 2, 2011

    I love the Neocolor II crayons, and the Karat Aquarell pencils, but I loathe the Karat Aquarell crayons. It was a real aha moment when I realized the difference between the crayons. I have my own personal preferences around art media! I don’t have to use these any more!

  2. Reply

    Isn’t PVA sizing similar to some wall paper glues? I Googled it and came up with a recipe that made up to 4 gallons of size! Sounds easier to buy it as needed than try and make it, lol!
    Lovely to see the little penguin again!

  3. Reply

    Caroline, I’m sorry I don’t know anything about PVA sizing except that it isn’t just PVA glue. I went to a talk about oil sticks and people were raving about it. And the art supply store had bottles of it made by Golden. I love Golden products so it never even occurred to me to make it, or to look into it further until I actually have to use it. (The friend I was with who works with oil sticks did buy some, but she hasn’t used it yet.)

  4. Reply

    Sounds like I really need to try some better crayons! I bought the Karat Aquarelles locally and that is the only brand that was available. I’ll have to order some of the Neocolors.

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